New Model News

BMW giving X5 a hydrogen-powered option in 2022

The U.S.-made next-gen 2021 BMW X5 plug-in hybrid SUV debuted earlier this year with big horsepower bump.

Photo courtesy of BMW

BMW will be adding a hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV) to its passenger car product mix in 2022. Toyota will be supplying the company with fuel cell technology.

The X5-based model, known as the i Hydrogen NEXT will get a limited run, the German manufacturer said in a statement Friday. The addition of hydrogen to the rotation is in addition to diesel, gasoline, plug-in hybrid, and electric powertrains that are currently part of the automaker's product line.

Germany, where BMW is headquartered, recently presented a multi-billion euro plan to support the German hydrogen industry. The country, which also champions the use of nuclear power, is seen as one of the leaders in alternative power innovation.

2021 Toyota Mirai The 2021 Mirai has an elongated nose, similar to the design of the Lexus LC. Photo courtesy of Toyota

Many automakers see hydrogen as the future of alternative fuel powertrains, however that future is being held up by a lack of distribution and filling station infrastructure. Progress on hydrogen fuel cell technology is evolving rapidly but widespread use is still considered decades away. Companies see battery electric vehicles as filling the gap between now and then.

Toyota currently sells the Mirari FCEV and Hyundai sells the Nexo FCEV. Both models are limited in their distribution in the U.S. Both companies have been advocating to regulations to ease in an effort for more widespread adoption of the technology.

Hyundai Motor Group Executive Vice Chairman and Hydrogen Council Co-chair Euisun Chung recently outlined the company's next steps for hydrogen adoption

"A clean energy future with hydrogen is closer than we think, because the industry has been working hard on addressing remaining challenges. This report shows what remains to be done and defines a clear path forward," said Benoit Potier, chairman and CEO of Air Liquide and co-chair of the Hydrogen Council. "2020 marks the beginning of a new era for energy: As the potential for hydrogen to become part of our global energy system becomes a reality, we can expect fewer emissions and improved security and flexibility. This announces the decade of hydrogen."

Toyota Woven City Toyota is to build 175-acre prototype city of the future at the base of Mt. Fuji Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc.

The Council suggests that as much as $70 billion in investment may be necessary to build out hydrogen infrastructure.

Toyota has plans to build 175-acre prototype city at the base of Mt. Fuji that runs on alternative fuels, including hydrogen. Called the Woven City, the development will be fully powered by hydrogen fuel cells and serve as a living laboratory for full-time residents and researchers. Unlike the three-acre Biospehere 2, Woven City will not be enclosed and secluded from the real world.

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Buying guide

How to buy a modified car: Three tips

This is a clean modified truck, but they don't all end up this way.

Bring a Trailer

Modified cars are a mixed bag. Sometimes, they're incredibly well built and better than the original, but too many times they're only partially finished or end up being rushed as their owners get late-project anxiety. Whatever the case, buying a modified car can be a stressful process if you haven't done your homework ahead of time. The good news is that you can get a good deal on a reasonably well sorted project or modified car, but you'll need to be careful. Looking at used Lexus LXs earlier today, it became clear that there are as many modified vehicles for sale as there are clean examples.

This LX got me thinking about the breakdown between buying a rig and building one. The modifications made by this Lexus' seller are almost exactly what I would do if I were building a light overlanding rig. What could go wrong? I'm still on the fence about the Lexus, but the three topics below will help you make the right decision on buying a modified car.

2004 Lexus LX 470 Even if the mods are well done, you'll want to have the vehicle inspected before you buy.Bring a Trailer

Understand your personal taste

I mentioned the LX470 and how the owner's updates were pretty close to what I'd do with the truck. That's an exception to the rule, because 90 percent of the time I walking away from a sales listing because of modifications, rather than the other way around. If you're hoping to find a tastefully modified car that matches your exact tastes, you could be waiting a while. If you're hoping to sell a modified car, the same is true in reverse. Finding a buyer for your extremely personalized project car may not be the easiest thing you've ever done.

2004 Lexus LX 470 It's a good idea to seek out vehicles in solid shape, regardless of mods.Bring a Trailer

Be aware of condition and quality

This Lexus looks to be well maintained and in good shape. It also doesn't hurt that the LX is one of the most reliable vehicles built by one of the world's most quality-conscious automakers. Even so, it's hard to know what you're getting with this, or any other, modified vehicle. There's a little rust in this image, but the lift kit, wheels, and bumper mods all look good. However, even if the truck looked brand-new, you'd want to get a pre-purchase inspection. An independent mechanic can tell you if there are potential issues that are unrelated to mods, and you'll want to be sure that any modifications are installed properly.

2004 Lexus LX 470 Some mods are more useful than others.Bring a Trailer

Keep an eye on the price

Most people are reasonable when it comes to selling their modified cars, but there are hundreds of "I know what I got" memes on the internet for a reason. Some sellers want to recover every penny of the money they spent customizing their cars. They're convinced that the mods drastically increased the car's value and can't understand why the customized car isn't as attractive to you as it is to them. Tread lightly and be careful not to insult the owner, but it's your job to work toward a reasonable, fair price.

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New AWD performance car

The Subaru WRX is all-new for 2022

The new WRX's body cladding is already stirring up controversy.

Subaru

The Subaru WRX is a rally-bred performance car that offers a unique mix of rowdy all-wheel drive fun, a value price, and youthful styling. The car is long overdue for an update, though, and Subaru is doing just that for the 2022 model year. The fifth-generation WRX is all-new, and features a more powerful engine, along with several go-fast upgrades.

2022 Subaru WRX Both a manual and an automatic transmission will be offered.Subaru

A new GT trim joins the WRX lineup for 2022. It features a new automatic transmission, adaptive dampers, and drive mode selections. With various customization options available to the driver, the system offers up to 430 different settings combinations. The GT's interior adds Recaro seats wrapped in Ultrasuede with red stitching. The GT also gets exclusive 18-inch wheels.

Though still a Boxer engine, the 2022 WRX's powerplant is new and more powerful than before. It delivers 271 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque, as well as a broader torque curve. Subaru says that the larger engine plus an electronically controlled turbo wastegate and air bypass valves improve responsiveness and acceleration.

2022 Subaru WRX A larger 11.6-inch infotainment screen is on board. Subaru

All WRX models come with Subaru's Symmetrical all-wheel drive system and active torque vectoring, which can shift power to individual wheels that need the most traction. A six-speed manual transmission is standard, but a new Subaru Performance Transmission is available, which features faster shifts and other features to improve performance.

The 2022 WRX also gets a tech upgrade that brings a large 11.6-inch tablet-style touchscreen. It runs Subaru Starlink infotainment, handles HVAC and vehicle controls, and offers split-screen functionality for two apps to run simultaneously. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard, as is Bluetooth, SiriusXM radio, and HD radio. An upgraded version of the system also offers navigation with three years of free map updates.

2022 Subaru WRX Subaru will offer a new GT trim with upgraded suspension and finishes.Subaru

As it has done with many of its other vehicles, Subaru is equipping every WRX with its EyeSight suite of advanced driver aids. The packge includes lane departure prevention, adaptive cruise control with lane centering, and more. A new available automatic emergency steering system works with the car's pre-collision braking feature to help avoid collisions at speeds under 50 mph.

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